Samsung's new flagship phones expected to headline Mobile World Congress

Samsung, Sony and Nokia will be among the tech giants revealing new smartphones when Mobile World Congress (MWC) opens on Monday in Barcelona.

The annual trade show is one of the biggest mobile industry events of the year and this year is expected to see Korean giant Samsung unveil its latest flagship devices, the Galaxy S9 and S9+.

Sony Mobile and Nokia, whose phones are now launched under licence by Finnish start-up HMD Global, are among the other big names expected to unveil new smartphones.

Last year, Nokia announced an updated version of the 3310 - a phone first released in 2000 - among its range of new devices. The firm will reveal a series of updates to its line-up at this year's event.

Samsung's new device will be the company's first response since the launch of the iPhone X in November, and the Korean firm has already teased a focus on redesigning the camera on its flagship phone. The company's Unpacked event, where the phone is set to be revealed, has the tagline "The Camera. Reimagined".

Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, said rumours of dual rear cameras and other design changes would excite consumers.

"With the launch of Samsung's latest flagship devices, it would seem incremental advances, not out-and-out innovation, could be the name of the game," he said.

"The teased dual cameras on the plus will no doubt please budding snappers, but for many the best change would be the decision to 'stack' the fingerprint ID below the cameras - and kill the scourge of sticky lenses once and for all.

"While the camera itself is unlikely to improve massively to the casual observer, the expected inclusion of super slo-mo mode for videos would see Samsung going toe-to-toe with Sony."

Mr Bhikha said the rising price of flagship smartphones from the likes of Samsung and Apple - whose iPhone X starts at £999 - could leave the door open for lesser known manufacturers to gain market share.

"The price point is critical now though. If the rumours are to be believed, the S9 could be as much as £100 more than its predecessor - and that's before we've even mentioned the potentially bigger price tag of the S9+.

"Samsung and Apple have been nudging the price of flagships upwards, and while this is unlikely to hit appetite too hard, they are creating space in the £400-£600 price range for high-spec underdog devices with what might be, for some, a much more compelling price tag."

Many firms hoping to occupy that space will be among the more than 2,000 exhibitors at the convention.

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the four-day event, which will also feature demonstrations on virtual reality, smart home devices and driverless cars.

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